Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Pre-Production Day 2
The secret, of course, is that the only places you can see the "Hollywood" sign are really shitty areas of LA.
The above pic's the view from the parking lot of Sunset-Gower studios, where Electric Entertainment has its current offices. This is weirdly circular for me as my first writer deal in Hollywood, the reason I moved to LA, was an overall deal at Big Ticket Television. Which was housed at Sunset Gower -- the building right behind me as I take this photo, actually. Seven years later, I've sold the house and returned to Canada, and yet today I parked in the same damn spot as my old assigned space. I don't know whether to marvel at all the changes that happened in only seven years, or be quietly disturbed at the Uzumaki vibe. The neighborhood has not changed a bit, including the very sketchy sushi place in the mini-mall nearby. As recounted by fellow comedy writer Jeremy:
You: what kind of sushi is this?
You: um, no, what kind of sushi?
Waiter: ... with rice.
I took another photo, from the roof of my old building. I'd forgotten that a.) the view is no better and b.) up on the roof you suffer the full effect of the sun, and the heat stroke hits in about eight seconds flat. Once you're east of saaay, La Cienega, August and September are the months during which God really tries to make His point that this is a desert, and you are not supposed to be living here.
To answer some questions -- this pilot was written by myself and old friend Chris Downey, who started as a screenwriter in the exact same time and place I did, the first season of Cosby. The movie I'm working on directing will probably push to winter because of some actor availabilities. So, for this, I'm writer/exec-producer guy.
Today was budget meeting (blew that one off ...); production director meetings; preliminary casting lists; script notes and some directing notes, nailing down the final draft; discussions on where physical production will actually occur, comparing and contrasting the financial benefits of various cities; a meeting with some software guys on setting up a cutting edge new digital workflow (Dean met, I nodded a lot); showing people the first episode of Jekyll from my Neuros 442 (hey, casting related!); meeting with the storyboard artist and storyboarding out the first heist sequence. I was certainly not central to many of these meetings, but that's a good idea of what goes into early days in pre-production. All about getting the train on the track and building up steam.
Dinner was with the infamous Tyrone, my friend Tom who works on The Colbert Report and a few other friends. We'll see if I can figure out a decent write-up on the conversation where I compared America's obsession with Vietnam to the Jim Belushi movie Mr. Destiny, and Tyrone's subsequent dismay.